4cm Editor: Bravo (a must read article finally honest journalism by RITA PANAHI)
EVERY attack perpetrated by Islamic extremists is an attack against freedom of speech — whether they’re terrorising journalists and cartoonists at a magazine in Paris or bystanders having a quiet coffee in Sydney.
These callous cowards seek to silence dissenting voices by waging a war of terror against anyone who dares question their twisted, totalitarian world view.
The time for weasel words and treading on eggshells is over.
We owe it to the growing number of victims to open our eyes and acknowledge the unmistakable reality that radical Islam and Western values cannot coexist peacefully. These extremists despise our way of life — our freedom, openness and diversity is an affront to their despotic, backward attitudes.
We must stop pretending these incidents have nothing to do with Islam. They quite clearly have everything to do with extremist Islam and the sooner we admit this truth the better we can work to protect our people and values from this scourge.
The viciousness of these subhuman savages was on display on the streets of Paris as they walked up to an injured policeman lying helpless on the ground and shot him dead at point blank range without missing a step.
It mattered not that Ahmed Merabet was a Muslim. They didn’t care that his arms were raised in surrender. He was shown no mercy.
These are not people who can be reasoned with or counselled into adopting our values of humanity, tolerance and liberty.
We in the West must stop blaming ourselves for these acts of brutality. There are those among us, the so-called “progressives”, who seek to explain the behaviour of terrorists by pointing the finger at the victims.
According to these enlightened souls, homegrown terrorism is our fault.
We are to blame for not being welcoming enough, for creating an underclass of disenfranchised young men, for being part of the US-led coalition in the Middle East, for supporting Israel’s right to exist, for printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, for raising the terror alert level — indeed if you rationalise hard enough any act can be considered provocation to Islamic extremists.
Let’s not forget that it’s other Muslims who are the biggest victims of Muslim extremism
This victim blaming is an insult not only to the victims but also to the overwhelming majority of Muslims migrants, who appreciate the abundant freedoms and opportunities available to them in countries such as Australia.
It’s a mistake to presume that all Islamic people want us to change our ways or laws to better fit the values of their homeland.
But there is undoubtedly a minority of troublemakers who seek to change our free societies into the type of place they fled from and, as we have seen around the world, it only takes one radicalised attacker to cause wide-scale mayhem.
The barbaric death cult that is Islamic State has inspired a new legion of radicalised Islamic men, and even some women, to commit atrocities in the name of Allah against Western targets.
But let’s not forget that it’s other Muslims who are the biggest victims of Muslim extremism. On the same day three heavily-armed gunmen butchered 12 innocent people in Paris, there was another terror attack in Yemen, where a suicide bomber killed dozens of police recruits outside a station. The death toll stands at 37 and will grow.
However, it’s when these acts of base brutality occur in Western nations that many fully appreciate the threat radical Islam poses to the world. We should feel comfortable to readily call out elements within any culture or religion that are incompatible with our cherished values of equality, freedom and democracy.
It’s time politicians, including the Prime Minister, stopped tiptoeing around issues involving cultural or religious sensitivities for fear they’ll be labelled intolerant.
Nothing is gained by pandering to extreme elements in the vain hope that we’ll impress upon them that the path to assimilation is preferable to fundamentalism. The fear of Islamophobia and an imagined mainstream backlash against the Muslim community has become a bat used to beat down all valid criticism.
It is worth noting that, while the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo poked fun at Islam, it also regularly satirised Christianity and Judaism. And yet there have been no attacks by enraged Catholics or Jews.
This reveals the lie that all religions are equally bloodthirsty; in the 21st century only one religion is at the centre of terror attacks around the world.
We have followers of one religion who think they are entitled to butcher those who offend their prophet?
Frankly, if your all powerful deity is so fragile a cartoon poses a threat then you may want to reconsider your belief system.
The editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stephane Charbonnier, said in a 2012 interview, a year after his magazine’s headquarters were firebombed by Muslim extremists angry with a satirical cartoon, that they would continue “until Islam is made as ho-hum as Catholicism”.
Shamefully, at the time, there was no shortage of progressives willing to blame the magazine and its staff for “inciting” the attack.
In the same interview Charbonnier said: “I’d rather die standing than live on my knees.” Tragically he was among those murdered this week by Islamic extremists.
We cannot be scared into silence or intimidated into self-blame; the problem lies with radical Islam — not our Western democratic societies.